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Sydney’s Molly Taylor is now officially the number one female rally driver in Europe, after winning the inaugural FIA ERC Ladies’ Trophy.

With two events left to run for the European Rally Championship season (Italy and Switzerland), the Sydneysider and her British co-driver Sebastian Marshall scored enough points during a difficult Rally Croatia to ensure she could not be beaten.

Driving a Citroen DS3 R3T in the United Business livery, Taylor and Marshall took second place in their class to win the title, battling through several mechanical issues including a misfiring fuel pump and broken steering rack, as well as the drama of Taylor nearly passing out at the end of one stage because of fuel vapours in the cockpit.

“We’re very, very happy because it was our goal coming into the season to win the ERC Ladies’ Trophy,” says Taylor, who celebrated the win with Marshall by jumping into a swimming pool at rally headquarters in the stunning historic coastal town of Poreč.

“We’ve had some difficult events this year where we haven’t been able to compete as we’d like to because we were focussed on trying to secure this championship.

“It’s very satisfying and also a bit of a relief to have sewn it up with still more rallies to go so before the end of the season, so I’m now looking forward to moving on to the next event.”

Taylor says the only word she and Marshall could use to describe their weekend is ‘epic’, because of the variety of hurdles they faced.

“We had a problem with the fuel tank on the super-special stage and then a problem with fuel vapour on stage four when there were a lot of fumes coming into the car,” Taylor says.

“It was quite scary. We made it to the end but to say we were not feeling very good is a bit of an understatement. Everything you wouldn’t expect to happen did happen.  But in between the problems we’ve had some good stage times and we’ve savoured every moment and learned a lot. Overall we’re very happy with the result and we achieved what we needed to.”

Taylor is now hoping to tackle the full two-wheel-drive category in the 2014 European Rally Championship.

“We have learned so much this year. Really it’s the most consistent amount of events we’ve ever had in a row with the opportunity to stay fresh in the car and learn a lot of new events.

“We know where we’re good and where we can improve. We know we have a lot to improve on but to focus on the ERC 2WD Championship next year would be fantastic.”

Taylor says she is indebted to her manager, Pier Liberali, general manager of the Italian sports management company, United Business, for his faith and support, as well as the support of her long-time supporters, the Australian Motor Sport Foundation (AMSF) and the FIA Women in Motorsport Commission (WMC), and everyone who has believed in her since the start of her motorsport career.
 
Taylor moved to Italy early this year in order to work more effectively with Liberali, United Business and BP Racing, which runs her car.
 
She and Marshall signed with United Business last year to contest four events including rounds of the Intercontinental Rally Championship and the World Rally Championship. That gave them valuable experience and exposure at a level above what they achieved in 2011 when they won a scholarship to compete in the WRC Academy development series.

Sydney’s Molly Taylor is now officially the Number One female rally driver in Europe, after winning the inaugural FIA ERC Ladies’ Trophy.

With two events left to run for the European Rally Championship season (Italy and Switzerland), the Sydneysider and her British co-driver Sebastian Marshall scored enough points during a difficult Rally Croatia to ensure she could not be beaten.

Driving a Citroen DS3 R3T in the United Business livery, Taylor and Marshall took second place in their class to win the title, battling through several mechanical issues including a misfiring fuel pump and broken steering rack, as well as the drama of Taylor nearly passing out at the end of one stage because of fuel vapours in the cockpit.

“We’re very, very happy because it was our goal coming into the season to win the ERC Ladies’ Trophy,” says Taylor, who celebrated the win with Marshall by jumping into a swimming pool at rally headquarters in the stunning historic coastal town of Poreč.

“We’ve had some difficult events this year where we haven’t been able to compete as we’d like to because we were focussed on trying to secure this championship.

“It’s very satisfying and also a bit of a relief to have sewn it up with still more rallies to go so before the end of the season, so I’m now looking forward to moving on to the next event.”

Taylor says the only word she and Marshall could use to describe their weekend is ‘epic’, because of the variety of hurdles they faced.

“We had a problem with the fuel tank on the super-special stage and then a problem with fuel vapour on stage four when there were a lot of fumes coming into the car,” Taylor says.

“It was quite scary. We made it to the end but to say we were not feeling very good is a bit of an understatement. Everything you wouldn’t expect to happen did happen.  But in between the problems we’ve had some good stage times and we’ve savoured every moment and learned a lot. Overall we’re very happy with the result and we achieved what we needed to.”

Taylor is now hoping to tackle the full two-wheel-drive category in the 2014 European Rally Championship.

“We have learned so much this year. Really it’s the most consistent amount of events we’ve ever had in a row with the opportunity to stay fresh in the car and learn a lot of new events.

“We know where we’re good and where we can improve. We know we have a lot to improve on but to focus on the ERC 2WD Championship next year would be fantastic.”

Taylor says she is indebted to her manager, Pier Liberali, general manager of the Italian sports management company, United Business, for his faith and support, as well as the support of her long-time supporters, the Australian Motor Sport Foundation (AMSF) and the FIA Women in Motorsport Commission (WMC), and everyone who has believed in her since the start of her motorsport career.
 
Taylor moved to Italy early this year in order to work more effectively with Liberali, United Business and BP Racing, which runs her car.
 
She and Marshall signed with United Business last year to contest four events including rounds of the Intercontinental Rally Championship and the World Rally Championship. That gave them valuable experience and exposure at a level above what they achieved in 2011 when they won a scholarship to compete in the WRC Academy development series.

Photo: Julian Porter/ERC Rally Radio

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